Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

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Follow Friday: @foodbankscanada

Sadly, the need for food banks in Canada continues to grow. The next time you’re in a grocery store why not pick-up an extra item and donate it to the food bank? Most stores have donations boxes for the food bank near customer service. And/or donate directly to the food bank online.

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Follow Friday: Feed Nova Scotia Day


Today is Feed Nova Scotia Day. It’s an annual event during which the CBC holds a huge fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia. This day makes it exceptionally easy to donate to the food bank. The CBC will be holding a donation drive on the corner of Sackville and South Park Streets (outside their radio building) from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. No food handy? No problem, volunteers will also be accepting monetary donations.

There will be live broadcasts from the location at various times throughout the day. There will also be live musical performances.

Many local CBC stations hold similar food drives around this time of year. Visit http://www.cbc.ca to find out when an event near you will be held.


Food bank fare


I was at the grocery store on the weekend and as I was leaving I noticed a display in support of our local food bank. It was one of those pre-made packages where you pay something like $5 and items to feed a family of four are donated to the food bank. I didn’t get a very close look at all of the contents but I did notice a package of Kraft Dinner. Perhaps it’s the dietitian in me. Perhaps I’m too much of a food snob. Whatever the reason, the inclusion of Kraft Dinner in this package really bothered me.

Kraft Dinner is pretty inexpensive. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen boxes of it on sale for $.99 before, possibly even less than that. Even when it’s full-price I think it’s only marginally more than that. Wouldn’t it be better to donate something that food bank users might have more difficulty purchasing? Perhaps something with a little bit more nutrition, and something which doesn’t necessitate the purchase of other more expensive foods (i.e. milk and butter or margarine) to prepare? Why not buy some pasta and a jar of sauce, for example.

Pick up an extra (or extras) of something that you’re buying for yourself or your family, rather than relying on the prepackaged selection in the store. Some other nutritious non-perishable items include: whole grain crackers or cereals, canned tuna or salmon, canned beans, powdered milk or shelf-stable milk, nut butters, canned fruit (in juice or water), canned vegetables. Even better, donate money directly to the food bank so that they can purchase fresh food for their customers. Spices and condiments are also a much neglected category when it comes to foods banks. Think how much better you can make the most basic meal taste if you have some herbs and pepper.

Think outside the blue box of orange pasta when donating to the food bank.